Summary: From a series "What we Believe..."
“What We Believe…” God the Holy Spirit Romans 8:2-16
Today we look at what is probably the most controversial, the most misunderstood and least used doctrines in churches today – that is the HOLY SPIRIT. In the the Old Testament, God’s power; in New Testament He is the third person of the Trinity.
There are many varying beliefs and thoughts about the Holy Spirit. Before we go on… He isn’t the Holy Ghost – the word in Hebrew and Greek means – ‘wind or spirit. You cannot see it but you can feel the effects!
People form all sorts of opinions on; the “who”, the “what” and the how of the Holy Spirit – But -
We will today look at the very basics of what we believe as Christians and as Baptists. What ever else Christians might say concerning the Holy Spirit – these are primarily the four basic functions of the Holy Spirit – Or the Work of the Spirit…
CONVICTS - He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. In John 16:8 Jesus would tell His disciples that this was the first priority of the Holy Spirit… "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment…”
Let me give you an example –
A golfer was playing in a tournament with President Gerald Ford, fellow pro Jack Nickolaus, and Billy Graham. After the round was over, one of the other pros on the tour asked, “Hey, what was it like playing with the President and Billy Graham?” The pro said with disgust, “I don’t need Billy Graham stuffing religion down my throat!”
With that he headed for the practice tee. His friend followed, and after the golfer had pounded out his fury on a bucket of golf balls, he asked, “Was Billy a little rough on you out there?”
The pro sighed and said with embarrassment, “No, he didn’t even mention religion.”
Astonishingly, Billy Graham had said nothing about God, Jesus, or religion, yet the golfer stomped away after the game accusing Billy of trying to ram religion down his throat.
Once the Spirit convicts and the one convicted opens their lives to Christ then the Holy Spirit -
INDWELLS - Every Christian that has ever lived and who will ever live has the whole of the Holy Spirit within. His presence in the Christian is the assurance, the seal of God that He will bring the believer into the fullness of Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 we are given this promise concerning the Holy Spirit.
“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”
What Paul is saying is that - The gift of the Holy Spirit is God’s token, the pledge that will indwell every single Christian for the greater things to come. His indwelling is our security, our authenticity and our authority. The issue here isn’t that you as a believer don’t have the Holy Spirit – it is that the Holy Spirit doesn’t have you!
The Holy Spirit will not just take up residence but He also INSPIRES - He inspired the writers to pen the Scriptures. Through illumination He guided each word. He still inspires people today. He prods, pushes and pricks the heart and the mind to the right and good.
The Holy Spirit is not the divine equivalent of Walt Disney’s “Jiminy Cricket” – He is not your conscience but He is that still small voice that inspires you to speak, to serve and to action.
It is the Holy Spirit that encourages us when we are down, motivates you when you want to give in; He stimulates us to do the right even when it is hard…
And because He indwells and inspires every Christian He also ENABLES - He enables the Believer to understand and discern truth from error. He enables us to understand scripture. He enables you to serve with the gifts and talents that you are given. He enlightens and empowers the believer to live a life that is set apart from the crowd.
In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul tells us that – “…to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
The Holy Spirit inspires and enables ordinary Christians to do extra-ordinary things and the common believer to do uncommon things.
The Work of The Spirit - …Should Lead To A Holy Life - There are two ways of looking at life. We will examine them separately for a moment to draw out the contrasts.
One is the attitude that tries to leave God out of the picture.
You can live a life (as Paul puts it in Romans 8) in the “FLESH” –